A home in Thornbury, Ontario, Canada
Last night I had a serious mast cell attack. My wife, Karen, says this is an allergy attack on steroids. I have what doctors believe is a rare auto immune condition called mastocytosis, which has likely become a more serious form, systemic mastocytosis. There is no known medical cure for this condition. I rest myself in the love of my Lord and the healing power of Christ, our Great Physician.
The Enemy tried to deceive me that last night I would die. In the dawn of God’s light of Truth, I see the truth that there is kingdom work yet to be done before I am called home to the eternal joy of Heaven, where there is no more sorrow and no more pain.
A few days before that attack I was led by the Holy Spirit to start the process of writing this piece.
My Grade 9 Mathematics teacher, Mr. Wrong (Yes, his name is Mr. Wrong), who was also a philosopher of life, asked this question. “Would you rather live 50 years of quality life or 75 years of a mediocre one?” I raised my hand with an exuberant enthusiasm and said, “I’d rather live a shorter life giving to others.”
Mr. Wrong smiled. I gave him the right answer to that life equation.
As I reflect on memories of home, I think of how each season carries with it memories I hold close to my heart.
My home town is Thornbury, Ontario. By our home there was an apple orchard. I remember as if it was yesterday the smell of those apples as they would grow from apple blossoms to apples. Mom would use some apples to make apple pies with cinnamon.
The aroma of those apple pies wafting through the air would bring me from playing outside. It was Mom’s love in an apple pie. Any time I have apple pie with cinnamon, I remember my Mom and all she means to me.
My Mom taught me about the world outside our small town. She instilled in me that all of us are called to be givers to this world. She would say to me many times, “Kevin, in giving to others, God gives back to us.” I have sought with God’s help to live my life giving to others. My mind turns to memories of the seasons of home.
The spring would herald the beginning of new life. I would smell the freshness of the grass and hear the crickets. A robin red-breast and a cardinal would perch on a tree. I would hear the frogs going ribbit ribbit ribbit. In my joy of sping’s arrival as a boy, I would splash in the mud puddles of our driveway. My sister, Valerie, told Karen that I would pull a frog from my pocket to show Mom. I also had marbles in my pocket and a myriad of other things I would store in my pants in my daily travels. I will confess to you that I delighted in seeing Mom’s surprise as I would pull out all kinds of things from my pockets to show her:) Yes, raising me was an adventure.
Mom loved summers. She always enjoyed what she thought was a special time in the year. As she would sit on a lounge chair reading, she would laugh at my brother’s and sisters’ antics.
The scenes of fall remain sharp in my mind. I would see the leaves of crimson and yellow dance with the wind. My friends and me would play a game of burying ourselves in all the leaves and jump up, scattering the leaves all over.
I recall a cardboard box that I drew knobs on. I would go inside the box cut out to look like a TV and pretend I was the Lone Ranger or Superman. By being these characters or a World War 2 fighting ace, I possessed a power to fight against the darkness of my abuse by my manic depressant schizophrenic father.
I remember a fall landscape scene my mother painted. It was the only time she could capture that one of the birch trees looked like it was going to fall out of the picture.
In the winter my brother, sisters, friends and me would make a snowman. I would have snowball fights with my brother, Brian, sisters and friends.
Often, when my sisters, brother and me were stuck inside when there was a winter storm, Mom would sing songs with us. Mom’s two favourite hymns were Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art. As Mom would sing these songs I would look at her and feel so loved. The love she showed for God and all of us radiated from her like sunbeams.
In the darkness of winter and any time of the year Mom’s singing lit me up inside. It made the ugliness of my abuse from my manic depressant schizophrenic father easier to deal with. In all the darkness and evil around me light shone, God’s light which can be in any heart who seeks Him and finds Him.
One memory that stands out is when a boomerang ended up on the roof. I am the smallest. It is unanimously decided that I will be the one to squeeze through the tiny attic window. My brother and two sisters, Valerie and Judy, hold on to my legs as I stretch myself out and get the boomerang.
Mom is not pleased when our honorary aunt tattles on us. Mom is relieved that none of us are hurt. When her fear is over and she thinks of what that sight of me reaching for that boomerang must have looked like. Mom laughs.
I share that memory reflecting on how much we all loved one another. Sadly, Brian has been out of contact with all of us since my Mom’s death three days before Christmas 1992. Mom died from a massive heart attack at the age of 57.
I remember my Mom some way every day, even if it is a passing thought or a memory of the joy of her love.
We all have our memories of home, some joyful and others sad. For those who have been the victims of abuse those memories are so painful.
All of us can have another memory which will overcome the darkness in our life. It is how each of us can have our home with God in this life and into eternity.
With God in our life we can always be in a home filled with love, peace and even joy. I think that’s the kind of home we would all like to have.
Please prayerfully reflect on the words of Softly and Tenderly. Today, can be the day you come home to God, so He can bless all of the seasons of your life with the free gift of His faithful love.
I put you all back in God’s hands as you reflect on the seasons of your life.